The Night Is My Favourite Day

Original title: La Nuit est mon jour préféré

Publication Date:

January 2023



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

The Night Is My Favourite Day

Original title: La Nuit est mon jour préféré


Oscillating between silences and secrets, this new novel by Cécile Ladjali is interested in rebirths when one has not been spared by intense injuries. “What can bring down the walls, if not love”, and the force of life. – Livres Hebdo Magazine

In a game of echoes between present and past, between oceanic limbo and stratospheric altitudes, Cécile Ladjali intertwines the destinies of characters struggling against their loneliness. Virtuoso and tightrope walker, his writing weaves correspondences at the heart of a fiction that does not need to lose its reader to captivate him, and which speaks to us of dialogue, peace and love without resorting to grand speeches. – Le Journal du dimanche

Magnificent staging of tragedy in love – against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Poetic and moving. – Marianne

Israel, 2019. Tom, a psychiatrist working in a hospital near Tel Aviv, boasts among his patients Hephraïm Steiner, an octogenarian harp player struggling with psychosis, and Roshan, a young Palestinian admitted because she refuses to acknowledge her pregnancy. When he listens to them, he becomes convinced that ‘people do not understand each other’.

On 11 September 1995 in the same hospital, Hannah, a professional free diver, is in a coma after an accident beneath the waves. Her husband and her pregnant sister Meredith are at her side. From their respective limbos, Hannah and the foetus hear their relatives debating what to do about Hannah’s coma. The two of them are sticking to their positions, but the time has come to decide.
At the same moment, somewhere in space and on the TV screens of the whole world, Huston and Moscow are failing to re-establish contact with their astronauts in the Soyuz spacecraft. The silence reigning in the cosmos and on Earth is deafening.

The characters, whether living or ghosts, exist in this aqueous or stellar medium, each in their own way trying to find peace and love. Love for the enemy. A son’s love for his mother. A love that constantly has to be reinvented. But is genuine dialogue even possible? Do authentic encounters with a consciousness really happen?

In this melodious and meticulously constructed novel, Cécile Ladjali irrigates with her prodigious imagination the lands that are dear to her – our origins, words, the discovery of the other, transmission – and probes more deeply than ever the disjointed poetry of the world.

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